This may be my first year going to BlogWorld Expo, but if my experience at other conferences hold true, it’s going to fly by faster than anyone can keep up. Before you know it, we’ll all be writing wrap-up posts and connecting to people we’ve met via Twitter. Well, maybe. The sad fact is that most people will come home with dozens, even hundreds of business cards. Some may sit down and add everyone on Twitter, but others? Well, they’re only going to add and connect with people they remember.
Will people remember you?
BlogWorld will be a sea of people, most of which probably look similar to you. I’m hoping that people will remember my pink hair, but nothing about your looks is a guarantee that someone will remember you, at least enough to connect you to a name on your business card. It’s about your interaction. You might be well-prepared with a pen to write down information on the back of cards, but not everyone does that. So how do you make an impression?
- Make eye contact when you say your name. Sometimes, that helps it click in someone’s mind later.
- Have a conversation, not just a sales pitch. Yes, you want someone to visit your site, but there’s thousands of people who are pitching stuff. Have an actual conversation with the other person. It means you have less time to meet people overall, but I’ll take 10 strong connections over 100 weak connections any day. Your conversation doesn’t even have to be about blogging – personal (but professional) is good too.
- Throw our some collaboration ideas. If someone has a similar site, it could be easy to exchange guest posts, or even if your sites are only slightly related, you might be able to combine efforts on a project. Give someone a reason to remember other than “their site sounds cool.”
- Be prepared to reach out after BlogWorld. Take the first step in saying how nice it was to meet them, and avoid sending a form email if possible. Reference your conversation.
- Take a picture. Post it on your blog, along with the person’s name and a link back to their site.
Above all, remember that not every impression is a good impression. I’ve heard horror stories of people getting drunk and hitting on (married! eek!) bloggers, trying to use a popular blogger to advance their own career without actually giving anything in return, trying to seek in without a badge, etc. You want people to remember you – but for the right reasons!